The bankruptcy of Groupe Selection was extremely negative for Remi Vigneault, the main shareholder of the company until 2013. After an eight-year battle, businessman CEO Real Boecklin won a verdict last year for agreeing to buy back his shares. But instead of being satisfied with the 12 million cheque, he appealed as he found the amount insufficient.
Today bankrupt, the nursing home organization has little to give him. “Is there a day left to verify my claim? asked a businessman who now owns a shellfish fishing business in Florida.
“I am engaged. My shelter is beyond the companies, we have personal help on him, says Remi Vigneault. But it would be premature to think that my debt is not threatened. »
A legal story
Remi Vigneault has been suing Boecklin since 2016 to pay him the 28.53% selection shares he owns under an agreement he signed after his retirement.
“At midnight minus one, before the start of the trial, he gave me what he thought was valuable,” Remi Vigneault said. But the Superior Court ruled last year that his $13.8 million check was too small. According to the decision, Boecklin’s ex-partner should have received an additional 4.7 million in substantial interest, or a total of 12 million.
Still unsatisfied, Remi Vigneault appealed the case. According to him, the judge should have awarded him more compensation of 6.2 million for “oppression” – the abuse he suffered as a shareholder. Meanwhile, he is yet to receive the 12 million already sanctioned.
Beyond his claim, he said he was more concerned for those who depended on the selection.
I am very concerned about the employees who are at risk of losing their jobs, the subcontractors who are at risk of bankruptcy…
Remi Vigneault, Group Selection shareholder until 2013
He said his family members and friends in select residences are concerned. “They called me to find out if they should move. »
End of friendship
“Real Boecklin is a childhood friend who approached me in 2002 to finance his project, says Remi Vigneault. He has a very precise demographic vision, he targets well! »
Since then, their relationship took a different turn. Remi Vigneault said he was not surprised by the “incomprehensible” and “unacceptable” portrait of the selections’ finances painted on Wednesday by PwC as a representative of its bankers. They criticize Boecklin for his “luxurious lifestyle” with company cash.
“Mr. Boecklin, when it came time to pay, he wasn’t there,” he said.
As part of his lawsuit, Remi Vigneault repeatedly asked the option for financial statements. “When we’re trying to get the numbers, we’re dealing with fire management,” he said. The company rushed its payments at the last minute.
He has little doubt that his former partner used his businesses to gain “personal benefits”, as PwC claimed.
For example, I can tell you that until I left in 2013, his flight expenses were paid by the company.
He also believes the group should take much bigger bites.
“I was in charge of finance and development at the time,” he says. I would never agree to put ourselves in a situation like Molson’s. I came from my own money, I know the capabilities we have. »
In 2019 the group bought the former brewery land on rue Notre-Dame together with Montoni. But Fonds de Solidarité, its other partner in the selection project, was unable to respond to a call for 1.8 million in funding from FTQ.
A breath of fresh air for Boecklin
In the circumstances, the former shareholder of Selection regretted to appeal the judgment awarding him 12 million. “Perhaps Real was very happy the day I decided to appeal, because it gave him some oxygen. »
Today, the millions used to pay Remy Vigneault come solely from his ex-partner’s personal fortune.
In Laval, Boecklin’s residence is valued at $5.5 million, according to the city. In 2002, Selection’s boss bought it through Fiduciary Real Boecklin.
He also has access to a sprawling penthouse at 41 that spans more than 10,000 square feet.e The floor of the Miami Beach tower was purchased in 2013 for a tidy sum of US$15 million, according to public documents from the county.
But the condo is owned by the Bouklin Trust, as well as two other trusts named Yves Mongeau and Robert LaPlante. The group selection includes two individuals as senior vice president, real estate and executive vice president, finance, respectively.
André Lauro, Professor of Taxation at Laval University, is formal: First, these assets are unlikely to be expropriated.
“Trust is another person,” he explained. Unless the property was transferred to a trust to defraud creditors, or it was Mr. Boecklin’s bankruptcy, she was not liable for the debts, in which case the court could make the transfer unenforceable against creditors. »
In short, “the hockey game is gone early,” said judge Andre Lauro. “You don’t even have your skates on. »